Debutants Afghanistan rally after India dominate


Shikhar Dhawan became the first Indian to hit a Test century before lunch with his 87-ball knock
First Test, M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore (day one):
India 347-6 (78 overs): S Dhawan 107, Vijay 105; Ahmadzai 2-32

Test debutants Afghanistan took five wickets in the final session after India dominated much of the opening day of their match in Bangalore.

After India won the toss and elected to bat, Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan put on 168 runs for the first wicket.

Yamin Ahmadzai took Afghanistan’s first Test wicket by dismissing Dhawan for 107, with Vijay (105) second to fall.

Afghanistan – who were awarded Test status in June 2017 – rallied late on, taking three wickets for 16 runs.

Wafadar, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman took a wicket apiece, while Dinesh Karthik was run out.


BBC Sport’s Sam Sheringham in Bangalore

There was a great sense of occasion before the start of play here in Bangalore as the Afghan players were presented with framed Test caps and glad-handed by a host of dignitaries.

With their hands on their hearts and beaming grins across their faces, they then belted out their national anthem and soaked up their moment of history.

The smiles were soon wiped off their faces, though, as India opener Shikhar Dhawan took advantage of some palpable nerves from the Afghan bowlers to blast a stunning hundred before lunch.

And yet still the Afghans seemed determined to enjoy themselves, none more so than Mohammad Shahzad, the portly opening batsman establishing himself as a firm favourite with the Indian crowd for his whole-hearted efforts in the field.

Following a couple of rain delays, the Afghans improved dramatically and it was their seamers rather than their much-vaunted spinners who made the initial breakthroughs, much to the delight of a few clusters of flag-waving Afghan supporters in the stands.

By the end of the day, however, leg-spinner Rashid Khan was showing exactly why he is one of the most exciting young cricketers in world cricket, taking the scalp of India captain Ajinkya Rahane and showing off his full array of magical deliveries as Test cricket’s newcomers finished the day in the ascendancy.

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